I have to start this post with a compliment to the HR department at our office. They decided to start an office book club with books that might help make us better employees. Not only did they select and purchase the books for us, they also arranged for the author to join our discussion via conference call. I hope our HR department schedules future book clubs. Maybe the next book could focus on advertising in the digital world; or how to effectively build brands through social mediums.
The chosen book for the first club was Management Courage by Margaret Morford. And while I generally shy away from management how-to books, I thought this was a great opportunity to read something I wouldn't normally read and to maybe pick up a few management tips. There's a reason I avoid management books; I often find the writing flat and uninspiring. And this book continues that tradition. However, this book is a short 99 pages so it avoids one of my other common complaints about business books; that they're long winded and repetitive. So I applaud Morford for keeping her arguments concise and to the point.
The book consists of six management principles. Most of the book preaches a philosophy of adjusting your managment style to meet the needs of individual employees. And much of the information is useful. However, the book didn't take into consideration that managers may also have different styles. There's a whole lot of stuff in this book that I just would never be able to do. Maybe I don't have enough courage. Maybe my management book would be titled Management Coward.
Take the First Principle, "Be painfully honest." While I try to be honest to those with whom I work, I also tend to offer that honesty with a soft touch. So adding the "pain" to the "honesty" just isn't something that I'm likely to excel at. Yes it's partly because I avoid conflict (and maybe that's not a good thing). But It's also because I've found that I'm most effective when I respond with kindness, even when I have to deliver bad news.
That said, Management Courage offered other suggestions that will be useful in the office setting and will hopefully make me a better employee and co-worker. I'll look forward to the next office book club selection.